The Creative & The Chair: Gunifort Uwambaga
In our new series 'The Creative & The Chair’ our beloved Luna Lounge is in the spotlight. This unique lounge chair boasts a timeless and elegant design that is characterised by round and organic shapes. We invited several Creatives to customise the Luna Lounge according to their individual style and taste. The result is three personalised designs that reflect the unique personalities of each Creative.
The first in our series is Gunifort Uwambaga; co-owner of bookshop and publisher MENDO, a brand renowned for their selection of aesthetic coffee table books. We sat down with Gunifort to discover the inspiration behind his customised Luna Lounge and to hear about his work as a ‘creative’ entrepreneur.
Gunifort, your story reads like a novel: you came to the Netherlands from Rwanda when you were eight and now you’re the co-owner of one of the most famous bookshops in Amsterdam. What is that like?
“The last three years have been a huge transformation for me personally. I never used to see myself as a creative person because in my family and circle there was always an emphasis on beta skills. Before becoming a co-founder of MENDO, I studied Finance and worked in private banking for two years. MENDO had always been a part-time job for me alongside my studies, until, motivated by my friends who are also creative entrepreneurs (the men behind the fashion brands Daily Paper and Filling Pieces), I decided to go for the books. Now, in addition to being a co-owner and publisher, I am also a creative entrepreneur involved from A to Z in the process of developing a book.”
What role have books played in your life?
“When I came to the Netherlands as a child, my mother – who used to be a primary school teacher – always took me to the library. It started as a means of learning the language, but after I mastered the language, books were also a way for me to dream away for a while. And in fact, they still are. Just as I used to lose myself in Harry Potter stories for hours on end, now I still dream away when I have an aesthetically designed book with beautiful photos in my hands. I also read a lot with my three year old son Beaufort. He can ‘read' his elephant books for hours on end!
How did you find the process of customising your Luna Lounge?
“I think it is fantastic that this is an option. There are so many different combinations possible and I think that gives the furniture a significant added value. The customising allows you to really create a chair that completely suits your own interior and taste.”
You chose a Luna Lounge in Rancho: a leather upholstery in the colour cognac. Why did you choose this material and colour?
“My taste is quite pronounced. In our house, many natural materials such as marble and wood are used in combination with colours such as brown and dark green. I have also been influenced a lot by African aesthetics, which makes me very happy. I wanted to stay away from the current interior and furniture trends and design a timeless chair. I think it turned out well and the leather in this cognac colour perfectly suits my taste.”
Are you inspired by Gunifort's story and his design choice for the Luna Lounge? You can personalise your own Luna Lounge here and create a chair that perfectly matches your own taste and interior. The possibilities are endless.